I am always amused by Shilo Zylbergold’s column in the Driftwood, and the most recent one in the Oct. 25 edition made me laugh perhaps more wryly than usual. He comments on the unexpected trove of Irish Spring soap bars in the B&B in Comox, which, for a long-time islander like Mr. Zylbergold should not be surprising.
Because: one of the first things I learned, probably 40 years ago, about living with mice on Gabriola Island (the same little cuties that dwell on Salt Spring) is that if you want to deter them from nesting in your cupboards, attic, crawlspace and most particularly your vehicle’s engine compartment, you place one or more bars of Irish Spring soap nearby. The unmistakable perfume of this soap is so pervasive (no doubt borne on the airwaves all the way to the next island by killer phthalates), that rodents tend to avoid any proximity to areas where Irish Spring soap has been strategically placed.
I didn’t think they made Irish Spring soap anymore either (can anything so strongly perfumed even be legal?) so perhaps the big stash discovered by Mr. Z. is a forward-thinking property owner’s way of preparing for a relatively rodent-free future, at least until the B&B is long a place of the past. After all, it doesn’t matter when you purchased the soap, the scent will last forever.
And, that unopened package of Irish Spring soap in the oyster shell dish — it’s not actually for human use — it’s a baseline test to see whether any rodents are actually brazen or olfactorily challenged enough to rip open the package and gnaw on the soap, as they do with other unscented or naturally scented bars of soap. Gnaw-marks on the package? Tell any already-booked guests that you are doing renovations (i.e. hosting a pest-control outfit for a day or so) and suggest re-booking for a later date.